An evolution of the Weightless Bricks Project from 2019 - questioning our relationship with technology and imagining how the social, ethical, empathetical and physical boundaries of digital experiences may evolve. It explores how to truly exist in both physical and virtual worlds at the same time, and designing how they can overlap. We already have video conferencing, email, Slack and similar services, but while these can replace meetings and in-person conversations, they don't yet replace an office environment - what's missing are the serendipitous casual interactions that happen when you a share a space with other people, the richness of non-verbal gestures that greatly enhance communication and trust, and the experience of physically travelling to a new environment with different sensorial cues to usher in a different state of mind.
Mixed Reality Experience Proposal
As A.I. systems become increasingly embedded in our environment, we will be required to communicate with them much more frequently. The role of the Empathy Educator is to imbue artificial minds with soft skills; emotional etiquette, gesture recognition, natural habits, good manners, and ethics. Our A.I. systems may be able to improve their intelligence independently, but they will need someone to parent them; allowing them to socially fit in and soften our interaction with them.
The Seed Simulator builds and leverages complex simulations to visualise intangible data flows and forecast financial futures. Here, the seed simulator understands the value of human interest and can build models that predict how ventures can grow if value is added through human effort.
Addressing your mental and physical well-being, the conscious consultant acts close to the roles of a life coach and therapist. A world of virtual work that requires continuous re-specialising results in individuals becoming isolated, at odds with their humanity. The Conscious Consultant acts as a personal guru to help you overcome your inner laziness and fears in unfamiliar digital environments. The job is seen as a shared responsibility, even a Conscious Consultant will often need a Conscious Consultant.
Will it soon be impossible to hold back the overwhelming flow of our personal data? It may become much more of a necessity to actively curate a desirable digital identity for ourselves. The Cloud Cleaner can offer their client a way to navigate one’s hoard of personal data, and objectively re-organise it to maximum effect. Part stylist, part auditor; the Cloud Cleaner makes your virtual world reflect your best self – a space that you want to openly share with others.
The port of Rotterdam is known for seeking high-tech solutions when it comes to increasing efficiency. Consequently, the human presence in these sites of increasing machine labour is being drastically altered - could the port of Rotterdam be conceivably condensed into a small team operating from anywhere in the world? The Man-Machine Masseur allows human interaction with complex AI driven systems to become seamless; by taking on the role of a team builder to offer AI perspectives to human workers, and allow AI to understand human priorities, tendencies and needs.
VR Sessions ran from 5th September - 10th September 2019 at the Open City Docs Festival in London. I will announce any new showings here that I am made aware of but in the meantime feel free to visit the Soft Bodies Studio website.
Soft Bodies is an interdisciplinary design studio, based between London and Amsterdam. It was founded by Paula Strunden, John Cruwys and David Flook, who met while studying at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. The studio seeks to freely expand the production of space and objects by bringing the physical and virtual worlds closer together.